Half of pensions schemes could close by 2012The private sector in the UK is set to see half of its final-salary pension schemes closed to existing employees as the recession rumbles on, it is reported.

Such action is set to take place over the next three years.

The results from actuarial firm Watson Wyatt revealed that 75 per cent of all final-salary schemes are shut to new members of staff, but only nine per cent are closed to the current workforce.

And the group notes that should its predictions be realised, one million Britons may have to join an alternative pension scheme by 2012.

Dr Ros Altmann, pensions expert, said: “The truth is that even if the employer can afford to pay money in today, the final salary scheme involves being able to pay money in 50 or 60 years time and no employer can really sign up to that anymore.”

Rachel Krys, campaign director of The Employers Forum on Age, recently stated that as the UK population ages, the concept of retirement is now becoming outdated.